APOLLO 13"Houston, we have
IMAGINE ENTERTAINMENT presents a BRIAN GRAZER production
This movie has always had a special place in my heart. I was too young to experience the landing on the moon "live" as it happened (I was born one year after the historical landing). To me, the space race was a chapter in history class and the only launches I have ever watched on TV have been shuttle launches.
The romance and the dream of the original space program is to me something that can never be re-kindled. When I see movies like this, chock full of historical footage, and scenes of people gathered around their TV sets, I can't help but feel like I have missed out on a big part of what it means to be American.
My father was in the airforce for 22 years, and as a toddler I have seen the world. I have seen the fighter jets that have protected the world's democracies, and I have had lunch with the men and women who work to make sure you and I can sleep safely in our beds at night. What I wish I could say I've seen is the same spirit I saw in those people in everyday people now.
This movie showcases not only the strength of the human spirit, the will to survive, the ability to adapt, but it also shows what a nation can achieve when all it's peoples are united.
Ok, enough of my patriotic ranting, on to the movie. "Apollo 13" is the true to life story of the astronauts and ground controllers of the apollo 13 mission to the moon. When a devastating accident leaves the space craft crippled, and the mission in jeapardy, NASA and mission control do everything in their power to make sure the three astronauts (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swaggert) make it back to Earth alive.
The effects in this movie are first rate. Rather than use old, worn out footage of the original launch of the Apollo 13 spacecraft, Ron Howard and Digital Domain re-created it from scratch using state of the art pyrotechnics and computer generated effects. The appearance of weightlessness is also true to life. 60% of this film was filmed inside a NASA zero gravity test plane. Zero gravity was created by having the plane fly to a very high altitude, then dive straight down for 30 seconds. While the plane is in a dive, weightlessness is achieved. It is sometimes overhwelming to think that all the zero gravity scenes in this movie were filmed in 24 second intervals (6 seconds for set up and prep for g's).
"Apollo 13" is the only film that makes real life as exciting as a great sci-fi movie. Tom Hanks does a terrific job playing the level headed flight commander "Jim Lovell", Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton do a great job as "Jack Swaggert" and "Fred Haise".
"Apollo 13" is Rated PG and is a great way to spend 140 minutes of your life. A definate "must see" and if you haven't seen this film yet, your local video store is a great alternative to waiting for it to appear on cable.